If you've spent any time looking into getting better habits to live a better more successful life, chances are you have come across morning habits. The idea behind morning habits is that your morning can dictate the rest of your day, so make sure you start it right. There is a ton of advice out there on morning habits, from blog posts, to YouTube videos, to books and articles, so much that one could easily get lost on what the best approach is. The problem with a lot of this advice is that it assumes a "one size fits all" solution. Don't get me wrong, a lot of it is really good stuff and has some pretty impressive studies behind it, but once you start receiving detailed instructions on how you should start your day, failure is imminent. This is because we have a natural tendency to not take ownership of ideas we don't come up with.

So what's the solution then? If we look at what advice is out there, on one end of the spectrum you will find advice that will tell you "add this one minute task, like a breathing exercise, then after it becomes a habit add another 1-2 minute task like writing what you're grateful for" and so on and so on. On the other end you will find advice that will give you a laundry list of morning routines that make you ask "does this person even have a job, how the hell am I going to find time to do all that!?" One extreme assumes you're basically very undisciplined and need to make the change one small step at a time, the other extreme assumes you a very disciplined. Bottom line is that you have to come up with your own recipe of morning routines. This is what will allow you to take ownership of the changes you're trying to make and put you in a better position to actually make them a habit.

Bruce Lee came up with his own fighting style by taking bits from other fighting styles he studied and making up his own. Steve Jobs and company came up with the iPhone by taking existing technology and putting it together to generate an innovative product. Basically, you don't have to use all made from scratch ingredient (routines) for your recipe. There are a lot of good ingredients out there, many that have many hours of study behind them, so use them! Take some time to look up advice from different resources on good morning habits. Then start selecting those habits that are the most interesting/believable to you. The more time you spend on this, the better quality ingredients you're going to find.

Should you start with a small change or a big one? It goes without saying, no one knows you better than yourself. If you know you're not very disciplined and have often failed at creating new good habits, then start small. If you are disciplined, challenge yourself and start big. The biggest factor here is time when talking about big and small, but it could also apply to the difficulty of the routines you're trying to do.

When does it become a habit? A popular belief is that it takes doing something for twenty one consecutive days to make it a habit, but this has been said to be a myth. The best approach is to not test this, don't be concerned about how long it's going to take for it to become a habit or you'll never get there. Continue doing it and it will naturally shift into a habit. If you're a goal oriented person, set a goal to do your routines consecutively for a month, but use it more as a checkpoint or celebration point, and not a stopping point. And if you miss doing it a day here or a day there, don't sweat it as long as it's not significant. The more days you miss, the longer it will take for it to become a habit, but you're not starting from zero either because you've missed some days so don't let this discourage you and keep moving forward.

So when you're ready to get started, take out your note taking tool, google "good morning habits", and start doing your research. Create a list of those habits that you come across that you like. Decide if you want to start big or small, there is no wrong answer here. Then select from that list of habits to build the recipe for your morning routine. Name the routine to get even more ownership of it. Then get started!

Author's Bio: 

My name is Hector Lopez. I grew up in a small town in south Texas. I graduated with a degree in Manufacturing Engineering and work brought me to Houston where I have lived most of my adult life and currently reside with my beautiful amazing wife and two extraordinary sons.
I started my professional career working as a Manufacturing Engineer. Seven years into my career I took on a new role as a Performance Analyst. In this role I was challenged to change the culture of the work force to a culture of continuous improvement and this challenged me to change my entire way of thinking and put me on a new path. This led me to finding my true passion, becoming a student of human behavior. This also made continuous improvement become second nature to me and am always striving to find ways to implement what I learn as well as share it as a way of giving back to society.